WHY BROOKHAVEN INNOVATION ACADEMY?
Brookhaven Innovation Academy is a public charter school authorized by the Georgia Charter Schools Commission to open as a K-6 school in August 2016, growing a grade a year until enrollment reaches 540 in grades K-8.
Brookhaven Innovation Academy will provide students with an education that maximizes the realization of their individual talents and prepares them for success in a technology and information driven 21st century economy.
At Brookhaven Innovation Academy we believe:
- Every student in the school, regardless of gender, special needs, or social, ethnic, language or economic background has a right to a high-quality education that challenges the student to achieve at high levels.
- The future of our nation and community depends on students possessing the skills and knowledge to be lifelong learners and effective, contributing members of society.
- A school culture of honor, respect and caring are essential to the learning process.
- Technology enhances and deepens the learning process.
- Parents/guardians have a right and an obligation to participate in their student's schooling.
- The ability of students to learn is affected by social, health, and economic conditions and other factors outside the classroom; however, these factors can be mitigated by effective classroom practices.
- Continuous school improvement is necessary to meet the needs of students in a changing economy and society.
- The diversity of the student population and staff enriches the learning experience for all students.
- A highly skilled and dedicated staff has a direct and powerful influence on students' lives and learning.
- The community provides an essential resource to the BIA educational program.
- Effective communication with all stakeholders helps build support for the schools.
BIA students will acquire content knowledge while they master the 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. This level of skill development coupled with content mastery will ensure that our students are prepared for both college and 21st century careers.
BIA will utilize a carefully crafted combination of research based instructional methods including Project Based Learning, Personalized, Blended Learning and computer coding. Our curriculum is aligned to Georgia Standards of Excellence and is focused on both mastery of content as well as skill development.
INNOVATIVE CURRICULUM INCLUDES:
Project Based Learning supported by the Buck Institute for Education.
World language instruction in French, German, Mandarin, or Spanish for students in grades 2-8 delivered using Rosetta Stone.
Blended, personalized learning using Odysseyware for mathematics and English Language Arts
Computer programming for all students in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade.
Enrichment courses in music and physical education.
Specialized supports for students with disabilities and English language learners.
DESIGN PRINCIPLES OF OUR EDUCATIONAL MODEL:
- One to one technology platform with laptops and tablets.
- Project Based Learning that follows the Buck Institute Gold Standard including:
- Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.
- Challenging Problem or Question - The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
- Sustained Inquiry - Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
- Authenticity - The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
- Student Voice & Choice - Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
- Reflection - Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
- Critique & Revision - Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
- Public Product - Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.
- Clearly defined and monitored performance goals for each student, which are constantly adjusted based on individual progress.
- Real time access to projects, coursework, feedback and grades using Haiku Learning Management System.
- Standards based grade reporting system to provide accurate, meaningful, and timely feedback on clearly defined standards and authentic learning opportunities.
- Focus on emotional growth through an honor code, which is intended to set the parameters for healthy, safe and productive behaviors.
- Adaptable furniture and fixtures designed for multiple types of learning activities.
- Extended school year and day.
The BIA curriculum that is delivered through Project Based Learning and the Compass program will exceed Georgia standards and will prepare students for success in state and college-admissions testing. The curriculum is personalized, meaning the content is customized to the interests and learning styles of the individual student and individualized so that each students start at the appropriate point in each subject area, and move at their own pace.
The Compass curriculum is mapped to the NWEA MAP assessment, providing real-time data to identify areas where a student needs to improve and be supported. Three time each year the student takes a MAP assessment and using a unique “wizard”, the data is imported into the program management system, which makes the data actionable by translating it into differentiated learning paths based on each student’s current level.
In terms of assessment, BIA will measure the academic success of students longitudinally, as well as by cadre. Student performance will be assessed through formative and summative assessments, as well as the use of specific instructional strategies by BIA teachers. BIA will:
- Use NWEA MAP three times each academic year
- Use a growth approach to measuring student achievement
- Participate in the Georgia Milestones Assessments
INCREASED PROPERTY VALUES
Every major study over the last 20 years has concluded that increased school choice, whether through charters, vouchers, tuition tax credits, etc, increases property values, regardless of whether we’re talking urban, suburban or rural.
Carlianne Patrick, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics at Georgia State University released a study today entitled, Willing to Pay: Charter Schools’ Impact on Georgia Property Values.
The report finds that over a 10-year period home sale prices were 7 to 13 percent higher in areas with the greatest chance of charter school enrollment.
“Although there is extensive research on charter school achievement outcomes, relatively little is known about how the general public values these schools,” said Carlianne Patrick.
• For elementary school neighborhoods: Homes sold for 9 to 13 percent more than similar homes in priority two zones.
• For middle school neighborhoods: Homes sold for 8.5 to 10.5 percent more than similar homes in priority two zones.
• For high school neighborhoods: Homes sold for 10 percent more than similar homes in priority two zones.
While this data points to a high demand for homes in neighborhoods with charter school enrollment priority zones, the report also helps refute notions that charter schools erode public schools. The increased home values mean increased tax revenue, which is a benefit for public school districts.
“The results suggest that homebuyers want to live in areas with access to charter schools and are willing to pay for it,” Patrick said. “It’s another way to value school choice, and it’s a win for advocates in Georgia, and across the nation.”
According to most research, a major component of attracting high-quality, high paying jobs, is the quality of the education system. Today, Gov. Deal has set a goal of at 60 of 100 9th grade students in Georgia’s public schools, by 2018, ultimately receiving either a two or four-year post-secondary degree. Currently, the number is 9; only 2 of 100 minority 9th grade students currently achieve the goal. One of BIA’s models it will seek to emulate is High Tech High Charter Network of San Diego. On per pupil spending of $7500, no admission tests and a STEM focus, 88 of 100 9th graders at HTH ultimately receive a two or four-year degree; 34%, or twice the national average, are in the STEM fields.
Current elementary options in Brookhaven, such as Montgomery and Ashford Park, are crowded. Poor academic performance at Woodward- F on 2013 CCRPI, Montclair-F, Sequoyah-D and Cross Keys-low C. Overall 2013 grade for Dekalb is 62; system has 25 D and 48 F, schools in 2013. Currently, many Brookhaven residents are using private schools which are cost prohibitive.
Dekalb district budget for 2015 for Brookhaven schools is:
SCHOOL ENROLLMENT TOTAL BUDGET PER PUPIL TOTAL @ $9000/student DIFFERENCE
Montgomery 665 $3,491,000 $5241 $5,994,000 $2,503,000
Ashford Park 545 $3,300,000 $6055 $4,905,000 $1,605,000
Montclair 1061 $5,300,000 $4995 $9,549,000 $4,249,000
Woodward 791 $5,175,000 $6542 $7,119,000 $1,944,000
Cross Keys 976 $6,271,000 $6425 $8,784,000 $2,513,000
The 2012 Census Bureau report says Dekalb actually spends $10,094 per student from federal, state and local. Dekalb’s 2015 budget for state and local, is @ $800 million, with another $100 million coming from federal spending, which is what led to the assumption of $9000 per student.
According to the City of Brookhaven, school tax revenue in 2014 attributable to Brookhaven properties was $56 million; at 53% of total federal, state and local revenue, that means Brookhaven alone would generate @$105 million in total revenue for school operating expenses, if Brookhaven had its own city school district. Even if we assume all 6231 children ages 5-19 who, according to the 2010 Census, live in Brookhaven, attended City of Brookhaven schools, the per pupil spending would be $16,851 per student.
The point of this exercise is to simply show that, if every school in Brookhaven became an independent charter school, per pupil spending actually making it to the classroom, as opposed to central administration, would dramatically increase.
Under the BIA proposal, educators would have autonomy and freedom to hire, fire and compensate locally, rather than centrally. Teachers would be treated as true professionals, with BIA seeking waivers from the state from all regulations except those which prohibit testing, tuition and discrimination.